New Executive Order is combating flooding, hurricanes and wildfires

November 11, 2018

A sweeping, executive order, bolstering Virginia’s resilience to sea level rise and natural hazards, was recently signed by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.


Executive Order Twenty Four lays out a series of actions state officials will undertake, to further protect the state from flooding, extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, and wildfires.


"The order, which is broad in scope and objectives, is among the most comprehensive actions undertaken by any state to improve resilience and protect people and property from natural catastrophes," said Ofirah Yheskel, a spokesperson for the governor. "The order lays out steps Virginia’s government will undertake to lead by example and ensure that its facilities and holdings are resilient. In addition, it creates a series of reviews and planning efforts that will benefit the citizens, local governments, regions and public and private property."


Executive Order Twenty Four lays out a series of actions the Commonwealth will undertake to limit the impact of flooding, extreme weather events and wildfires. Governor Ralph Northam signed the order recently in Williamsburg, surrounded by local and state environmentalists. (Courtesy photo.)



The order calls for the creation of a “Coastal Resilience Master Plan” that will detail specific, adaptable actions to protect Virginia’s coastal regions. It reviews state compliance with dam and floodplain management laws, and all state pre-disaster hazard mitigation programs; and it provides guidance for local governments on how to build and plan in a more resilient and adaptive manner.


The order also lays out goals and ideas that further influence and improve resilience, including using nature-based infrastructure, when possible; ensuring better risk communication; engaging the United States military; and empowering communities and individuals to reduce their risk.


The governor signed the order during the 6th Annual Conference of the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at the College of William & Mary Law School,

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